Imagine a car with its wheels in alignment:
- It helps avoid tire tread: Our tires last longer
- It increases your mileage: The fuel(energy) lasts longer and is more efficient
- Less veering to one side: Requires less effort on the driver to keep the car on the road
Now what happens when the car hits a pothole/speedbump, or is involved in even a tiny accident? Or maybe it’s being driven at high speeds around a circular track without seeing a mechanic à la NASCAR (repetitive movements/exercise). Of course if the driver is too tired or worn out mentally, the chances of doing damage to the car increase, so maybe tire alignment is the least of your worries. We might not be putting in the right fuel for your engine, which can cause havoc on the whole system. But outside of lifestyle, there’s many different reasons why we need to take care of our cars.. I mean.. bodies.
Our Body’s Mechanics
What if we compared the wheels on our car to our hips and shoulders? We see that if they are bent, twisted or turned, more strain is put on them and the rest of our body. So what are the consequences?
- We may have to eventually replace the tires. Hip, shoulder and knee surgery have come a long way, but they are far from being as good as our bones. Surgeries to ankles, backs, elbows, and wrists may or may not fix the problem.
- Misalignment can also affect our spine (our central nervous system). The constant pull can make it harder to get out of bed in the morning, harder to exercise, or harder to handle any extra stress on our engine. The muscles (our belts) may also wear down or spasm if the nerves to it are overloaded by mechanical strain, which increases the sensory input from our joints and tendons to our brain.
- It can also act as a postural stress, that over a period of months or years, will continually pull on the rest of the body, wearing it down and exposing it to serious injuries. Unless there is a large force acting on our body, or if we don’t expose our body to enough stress/exercise to strengthen it, most strains and sprains are the result of bad mechanics over a long period of time.
We often adapt and get used to misalignment. Overlooking the consequences of not taking care of ourselves. We save now, and pay for it later, often many times over. I often hear the phrase from people coming into my office, “Don’t get old”. My reply would be, “This body has gone a few extra thousand miles after it first needed a tune-up”.
Fortunately, our bodies heal much better than our cars.